Step 3: Prime & Paint The Parts

Back in Step 2 you used a file to remove all sharp edges on the hoe body, tire arms, blade holder, and oscillating clamp. Now it is time to paint these components. It is not absolutely necessary that you paint these parts. You could skip this step and simply bolt the unpainted pieces together, but I hope you won’t do that. Painting is easy to do and it sure does make for a spiffy-looking wheel hoe. Besides that, painted metal is not going to rust so easily.

To prepare the metal for painting, I suggest you get one sheet of 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper, a can of aerosol primer, and a can of aerosol enamel paint.

If you already have some fine-grit sandpaper for sanding wood, you can use that. It won’t last as long or work as well as the wet/dry paper, but it will do the job.

The aerosol primer and paint in the picture above were purchased at my local hardware store. I paid $1.59 for the can of primer and $2.29 for the red enamel paint. I could have bought Rustoleum brand primer and paint for $5.29 and $5.49. And for $6.29 I could have bought Farmall Red or John Deere Green. But I bought the cheaper store brand cans of paint because, according to the store manager, it’s all made by the same company and he believes it is all the same product. That’s the inside scoop on spray paint.

As for color, I’m partial to red.

Sand the metal parts by hand to remove oil residue and minor oxidation. If you use the wet/dry paper, keep it wet with water in order to flush away particles and allow the paper to do its best job. This hand sanding is quick and easy to do.

Once the parts are sufficiently sanded, wipe them clean and dry with a cloth. Then I suggest you hang them up to spray-paint them.

As you can see in the picture above, the parts are suspended by a length of string with a makeshift copper-wire hook on the end. Very simple. Very efficient. You can hang these parts outdoors and spray paint them on a still day. That’s probably the best approach because the paint fumes are so noxious. But I opted to hang them in my shop for convenient picture taking. The parts are actually hanging off clamps on top of a piece of plywood (I’ll give you a perspective picture shortly).

Shake your aerosol can of paint very well before using it. My usual routine for shaking aerosol paint is to turn the can upside down and shake it 100 times. That’ll do it.

The trick with spray painting is not to paint the pieces with one heavy coat. Instead, spray several light coats, allowing each coat to dry before putting on the next. The picture below shows the first coat of primer.

Notice that the first coat does not completely cover the metal. No problem. It will get covered on subsequent coats. That’s the way it’s done.

Once primed, you can now spray on the finish paint. Follow the same procedure.

Again, make sure you allow the layers of paint to dry completely. Patience is required here. Go have lunch or work on another project for awhile if needed. You know what they say about watching paint dry....

Here is a perspective picture showing how I hung these parts up for painting & picture taking:

You will use about half a can of primer and the same of the enamel to get the parts painted. Once painted, the finish will be dry but soft. You can assemble the hoe with soft paint, but if you let the finish cure overnight, it will be more durable.

Whatever the case, keep the can of spray enamel handy because you will probably nick the new finish some during assembly, and it will need to be touched up.

Click Here To Go To Step 4